Here is the image without the bars over the eyes. It's a nice enough painting (even though it's still not done) but that's just it. It's a nice painting. There's really nothing special about it for me. Yes, the second boy has some pretty intense eyes, in fact, he looks downright annoyed, but the point of the bar is to make him anonymous, to make his memory "anyone's" memory. That's hard to do when it's a "recognizable" person.
Here is the image with the bars over the eyes. Some of you may disagree, and that's okay if you do, but this painting is much more interesting. The bars never fail to start a conversation with someone seeing my work for the first time. It turns a nice painting into something more interesting, something with a bit more edge. It may not be what you would do as an artist but I am still happy painting bars over eyes and calling it my art.
BTW, this painting is still in progress. I think one more day on it should do the trick.